7 Books for Stranger Things Fans
Are you enjoying the atmospheric, 1980s homage that is Stranger Things? If you’re like me, you totally binged it and now you’ve got a long, long wait until the second season. While you’re waiting and re-watching it to catch all of those easter eggs, try reading and watching some of these to satisfy all of your 1980s, super secret government experiment, best friend adventures.
The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey. Comic book writer Mike Carey spins a new twist on the post-apocalyptic, zombie story with a healthy dose of government experiments on kids added in for extra creepy. When a little girl strapped to a wheelchair says, “It’s okay. I won’t bite,” maybe you shouldn’t believe her.
I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells. John Wayne Cheever keeps his obsession with serial killers in check by a set of rigid rules that he lives by, hoping to the prevent himself from committing murder, but when a body turns up behind a laundromat, John must confront a danger outside himself. First book in a series.
John Dies at the End by David Wong. It’s a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit–users can drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent, otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity?
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Sixteen-year-old Jacob, having traveled to a remote island after a family tragedy, discovers an abandoned orphanage, and, after some investigating, he learns the children who lived there may have been dangerous and quarantined and may also still be alive. Adapted into a movie directed by Tim Burton.
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. 1988. Charleston, South Carolina. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act–different. She’s moody. She’s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she’s nearby. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries–and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This book is a total love letter to ’80s pop culture. Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s creator
Pines by Blake Crouch. First in the Wayward Pines series. Federal agent Ethan Burke encounters more than he bargains for during an investigation into missing agents when he awakens from a terrible accident and discovers that not only is his identification gone, but the behavior of the townspeople seems off. This has also been adapted into a tv series.
Did you notice that the font used for each episode title is dead-on the font used for Stephen King’s books in the 80s? King fans will notice that it’s not just the book covers that had an influence on Stranger Things.
Mary Kleemeier, Jeanne Tomlin and Andrea Broft contributed to this post.